Coming off a historic MVP season, Russell Westbrook is dealing with a knee issue as camp approaches.
Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double per game last season and led the league in scoring (31.6 points per game), so he was a virtual no-brainer to win NBA MVP. The new season is approaching, with team media days taking place and the start of preseason camps soon to follow.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti talked about a lot of topics on Friday, including the contract extension Westbrook has not yet signed. But the bigger news regarding the reigning league MVP came on his health heading into the start of camp.
Westbrook tore the meniscus in his right knee back in 2013, but Presti was quick to dismiss any connection between that and the current situation with a PRP injection.
Any injury news about a big-name NBA player is big news at this point in time. But there seems to be no real concern about Westbrook’s status for the start of the regular season, and Presti wouldn’t publicly acknowledge it anyway if there was. A few days of training camp is insignificant in the big picture of a season that will hopefully last deep into next spring for the Thunder, and fully healthy or not Westbrook probably won’t play much in preseason games.
But Westbrook’s progress after his PRP injection, or lack thereof, will be worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks. He has only missed three games over the last two seasons, but he missed pretty significant time in 2013-14 (46 games) and 2014-15 (67 games).
Westbrook also plays with a level of aggression that makes him vulnerable to injury, or in this case possible re-injury. The Thunder are surely keeping every concern in mind, and keeping him out of a game or two in October will be a willing sacrifice if Westbrook can be completely healthy down the road.